BANGKOK — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has welcomed Azerbaijan as its newest government member, a move the country hopes will help reach its vision of doubling its international visitors by 2023.
Azerbaijan has determined the Asia-Pacific region as one of their key markets, thanks to a significant increase in number of tourists from the region visiting the country.
“The State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan understands the importance of the tremendous growth and influence of the Asia Pacific region and, through PATA’s various activities, they now enjoy access to our Association’s extensive network of members as well as in-depth research and insights to help them to develop tourism in a responsible and sustainable manner,” said Dr. Hardy, CEO, PATA.
With growing tourist interest, Azerbaijan has been increasing the number of keys from local and international hotel chains, while also offering a spectrum of activities from medieval caravanserais to guesthouses and farmstays.
The country, situated at the eastern side of the Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea, boasts a rich history in part thanks to its association to the Great Silk Road in ancient times. Over 7,500 natural, archaeological, architectural, and historical monuments can be found here, from cave drawings at Gobustan, the castles of Absheron, to the Palace of Sheki Khans, and more.
On top of cultural and natural attractions, new tourism products are also constantly being pushed out, such as vineyard tours, as well as hiking and sports activities. Azerbaijan regularly hosts international multi-sport events, including the Azerbaijan Grand Prix which is held every year in Baku, the nation’s capital.
“Certainly, we are eager to support and contribute to this growth by co-operating with public and private entities in the region’s tourism sector, providing trainings for travel industry representatives and engaging in other capacity-building activities aimed at strengthening ties in the sphere of tourism between Azerbaijan and the Asia-Pacific region,” said Fuad Naghiyev, chairman of the State Tourism Agency.
Azerbaijan can be reached via over 40 direct flights across the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. A new visa-on-arrival system with simplified electronic procedure has also seen an increase of tourists from Europe.